“Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)” gives Harley Quinn a spotlight, but unlike “The Joker,” “Birds of Prey” is not an origin story. The movie assumes the viewer has a basic understanding of how the dynamics of the DC Universe work and for most people, this is okay.
The movie begins with Harley Quinn giving a brief introduction to her past, providing insight into how she met the Joker as his therapist and jumping into acid, representing her dedication to him.
The prelude ends with Harley Quinn breaking the news that she and the Joker have broken up, meaning Quinn has a target on her back from her enemies with no protection from her former lover.
The movie makes one thing clear: this is about Harley Quinn, not the Joker.
Signifying this breakaway, Harley Quinn does what she does best and blows up ACE Chemicals, sending the message to the Joker she is fine without him. Like throwing away a girlfriend or boyfriend’s gifts after a breakup, Quinn feels at ease with herself.
The movie follows the storylines of Black Canary, Huntress and Renee Montoya, all of which interact with Harley Quinn throughout the movie and come together in a cohesive storyline.
“Birds of Prey” is a movie with laughs as expected with Harley Quinn as the main protagonist. The movie’s pacing felt like a comedy instead of an action movie at times, which was off-putting but made sense with Quinn’s persona.
The movie is based within only one day of her life, showing off how chaotic she is.
With the majority of movies following a story arc with an introduction, rising action and a rock bottom in which the main character must have a turning point, “Birds of Prey” feels like a two-hour introduction. However, DC clearly framed “Birds of Prey” as the beginning of a line of movies that could potentially be made so it can be forgiven for now.
This is not even factoring in that it seems it is impossible for Harley Quinn to have a low point in her day to day life. Quinn’s lowest point is dropping her sandwich on the ground as one of her enemies chases her around the city.
“Birds of Prey” is an entertaining two-hour movie that didn’t feel old or overdone as many Marvel and DC movies can sometimes feel. The adult comedy sprinkled throughout the movie made it shine and showed a new side to DC, who is known for having darker themes.